Profile of the Night Heron
By Anne Pierson Wiese
In the Brooklyn Botanic Garden the night
heron is on his branch of his tree, blue
moon curve of his body riding low
above the pond, leaves dipping into water
beneath him, green and loose as fingers.
On the far shore, the ibis is where
I left him last time, a black cypher
on his rock. These birds, they go to the right
place every day until they die.
There are people like that in the city,
with signature hats or empty attaché cases,
expressions of private absorption fending
off comment, who attach to physical
locations—a storefront, a stoop, a corner,
a bench—and appear there daily as if for a job.
They negotiate themselves into the pattern
of place, perhaps wiping windows, badly,
for a few bucks, clearing the stoop of take-out
menus every morning, collecting the trash
at the base of the walk/don’t walk sign
and depositing it in the garbage can.
Even when surfaces change, when the Mom & Pop
store becomes a coffee bar, when the park
benches are replaced with dainty chairs and a pebble
border, they stay, noticing what will never change:
the heartprick of longitude and latitude
to home in on, the conviction that life
depends, every day, on what outlasts you.
The highlight of my Wednesday was talking to 2/3 of my regular high school friend lunch group (the third is at the beach with her family), with guest appearances by one of each of their kids. It was otherwise a chore day: work, laundry, dropping off the car for regular service, taking returns to UPS, and eventually a walk at Locust Grove where we saw frogs and enjoyed the woods. It was a gorgeous day but our neighbors were having a tree chopped and chipped, so it was very noisy.
We had Beyond Burgers for dinner before this week's Loki episode "Lamentis" which I loved in every way -- I'm going to think of it as the installment that finally, unequivocally gave us a major queer character in the MCU, which is glorious, but it's also the Snowpiercer episode with the Indiana Jones "no ticket" scene, beautifully lit and visually spectacular, with Loki singing folk songs. Another! Here are some of the great blue and black-crowned night herons we saw at the canal last Saturday: